Thursday, February 16, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #100

9 comments:
Welcome to the 100th Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this past week - if you haven't checked these posts out yet, I hope you will!



~~~

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!





Lavender Filled Felt Hearts for Valentine's Day // Pale Blue Corner




Chocolate Raspberry Brownies // Simply Stacie




Mini Sloppy Joe Bites // The Country Chic Cottage




White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles // Gluesticks




Bookcases Upcycled with Paint & Wrapping Paper // The Boondocks Blog





10 Design Choices I Made in Our House That I LOVE // Grandma's House DIY






If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!





Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!


Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:





Here we go!


Review/Giveaway: Frontier Bites Gluten-Free Snacks

7 comments:

Sometimes, it seems like you have to choose between delicious and healthy when it comes to snacks.  I try to choose wisely and have had to give up some old favorites due to issues with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), but I still crave small bites now and then and don't want to have to give that up.

My personal snacking inclination leans toward crunchy and crisp and I prefer savory or lightly sweetened over intensely sweet things (desserts are for sweet things - and only as a special occasion for me).

I hadn't heard of Frontier Bites before, but when the opportunity to review their line of gluten-free snacks came up, I jumped on it!

Frontier Bites are the brainchild of a pair of brothers, Nate and Matt, who set up a competitive challenge for themselves to come up with a recipe that could be an alternative to the highly processed energy bars available at the time. The rules were that the result could only include 10 or fewer ingredients one could find in their pantry, include no refined sugar, and be gluten, soy and dairy free.

Nate won the competition with his Almond Blueberry Lemon Bites, and after tweaking, they proved to be good enough to set them on the path toward starting their own business.

Tragically, in 2011, before they were able to bring those plans to fruition, Nate was killed in a river rafting accident, leaving Matt to carry on for both of them.

Until recently, Frontier Bites came in three varieties:  the original Almond Blueberry Lemon Bites, Macadamia Pineapple Coconut, and Pecan Cherry Cinnamon.

Now, they have two new flavors, and these are the ones I was sent for review: Cashew Cranberry Orange, and Pumpkin Seed Apple Vanilla Bean.

I immediately tore into the Cashew Cranberry Orange - this is already one of my favorite flavor blends and I was excited to see what they'd do with them.   I was not even slightly disappointed - the puffed millet and brown rice make for a snappy bite complimented by the crunchy almonds, and burst of flavor from the dried cranberries and bright orange oil, which tasted as fresh as if I'd bitten into a newly peeled orange slice.

I was and am smitten - everything about these granola nuggets is exactly what I've been looking for. After my first taste, I was almost reluctant to share with my husband (but I did, because I'm nice like that. He loves them, too!)


The Pumpkin Seed Apple Vanilla Bean Bites were also very good, and shared the same perfect crunch and flavors that play well together.  The apple tasted like apple, the vanilla was discernible, and the hulled pumpkin seeds were nutty and delicious.

Each nugget is just about an inch big, and five of them makes a serving size of about 110 calories. I found them to be pretty satiating, although they're tasty enough that might well eat more than a serving just because they're so good and fun to eat.

Frontier Bites are also perfect for taking along as a portable snack - the nuggets are lightweight carrying and hold up well to jostling without turning to crumbs.

In fact, my husband and I took these along with us to the Woman's March last month, and it was very easy to pull one or two out of a baggie even while standing in a dense crowd. They provided a welcome bit of sustaining energy, and we plan to be sure to bring these along for future outings and road trips.

The 3.53oz resealable bag contains about five servings, and is available for purchase on their website for $4.99 each.  They also carry packs of 8 single serve pouches for $15.00.

You can also find Frontier Bites on Amazon, or you can check their store locator to see if they are available for purchase in your area.

Frontier Bites is letting us host a Giveaway - one of our US readers will receive a 'mixed case' of Frontier Bites, containing one resealable pouch of each of their five flavor blends, valued at $25. Keep reading to see how you can enter to win!


http://frontierbites.com/
https://www.facebook.com/frontiersnacks
https://twitter.com/frontierbites
https://www.instagram.com/frontierbites/




To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 3/2. 

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Party in Your PJs! #145

No comments:
Happy Tuesday and Happy Valentine's Day!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.   In addition to Kim from The Cookie Puzzle, you'll also find Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma IdeasWood of Bell Trees and... here!

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Last week, my Tuesday got busy with a variety of things, and then my husband and I made a last minute decision to go out for the night to a nearby pub that has Trivia Night on Tuesdays, and I totally forgot to get the Party in Your PJ's link up.

I forgot so thoroughly that it wasn't until midday Wednesday that I remember - and decided at that point it was best to just let it go for a week.  I'm sorry about that - but I hope you headed over to one of my co-hosts to share your posts!


Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!



Kim ~ The Cookie Puzzle | Facebook | Pinterest 
Nina ~ Grandma Ideas | Pinterest | Twitter
Lynda ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos | Facebook | Pinterest
Heather ~ Woods of Bell Trees | Facebook | Instagram

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle 

Kim is a small town girl who love simple things. Simple cookies, simple crafts and simple people. She is a wife, mother to one son and two adorable fur babies. Slightly addicted to reality TV and sitcoms, but she loves curling up with a good book or a good walk while listening to podcasts. You can find her at The Cookie Puzzle, where she shares her love for cookies and crafting. 

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

How is this: Nina is wildly in love with her grandchildren. She delights in doing activities with them that strengthen their relationship –- playing games, doing crafts, snuggling, reading stories to them, and cooking together. She enjoys reading, technology, and traveling. (Tahiti is her most favorite place on earth!)

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda lives outside DC with her husband Michael and elderly beagle, Sadie. She and her daughter Jackie started RCHReviews as a way to spend time together in spite of living across country, and along the way they've added several friends as regular contributors. Between them all, they bring together many different perspectives and lifestyles with one common philosophy - try new things, have fun, and remember you are awesome!

 Heather @ Wood of Bell Trees

Heather is a wife of a peanut butter fanatic and mom of one silly human and one furry canine, wrangling life on 2nd shift and glitterizing everything as she goes!






The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at thecookiepuzzle@gmail.com

Features from Last Weeks Party!

 to see their features - we each pick our own!




All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment, we all love comments
-If you were featured, grab a"Featured" button, found below.
-Consider adding our Party button to your Party Page or Post.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Strawberry-Banana Chocolate Fried Wontons

10 comments:

Are you looking for a very fast, easy Valentine's Day dessert that looks and tastes amazing?  Let me suggest these delicious fried morsels.  Start to finish, it took me about twenty minutes to put together eight of these (just right for two).  Of course, making more would be just a matter of a few minutes more work.


Strawberry-Banana Chocolate Fried Wontons
(makes 8)

16 wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons (approx.) strawberry preserves
1 banana, sliced (there will be leftover banana - eat it!)
8 squares dark chocolate (I used NibMor Extreme)
cooking oil for frying

I find that when doing a dish that requires repetitious cooking in batches, it because really important to prep your workspace at the start, so that you can quickly work through the assembly process.

So, before you get started, prep a pot for deep frying with about 2" of oil (or use a deep fyer if you have one), and get the following in place:

Slice a banana at a slight angle, divide a chocolate bar into squares, and have at ready a dish of strawberry preserves with a spoon.

On a small plate, under a damp paper towel, have 16 or more wonton wrappers.  Set a small bowl of water near the wontons.

Line a pie plate with paper towels, and set it aside to hold the fried wontons, and get a plate to fill and prepare the wontons on.

Ok, ready?

Heat oil to 350F in pot. (Use frying thermometer.)

On plate, lay out one wonton, then  dab with a little strawberry preserves, a square of chocolate, and finally, a banana slice.

Wet finger in bowl of water and then run it around the edges of the wrapper.  Top with a second wrapper, and seal the edges.

Because of the thickness of the filling, I found it hard to line up the two wontons neatly, so I sealed the opening and then folded over two corners to make them look better.

One or two at a time, lower prepared wontons into oil and fry for a minute or two, turning once.   Pay close attention - this doesn't take very long at all.

Remove with spatula, drain, and set aside on paper towel lined pie plate.

Continue with the rest.

These can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.

If desired, these could be dusted with powered sugar but I found them to be very rich from the chocolate and fruit, and wouldn't want to diffuse that flavor with unneeded sugar.

You could also leave out the preserves, and heat some preserves up as a warm sauce to serve with these.  Either way, the strawberry preserves really play well with the dark chocolate.


I hope you treat yourself and those you love to something special this Valentine's Day!


If you'd like an opportunity to win a huge selection of Organic Dark Chocolate from NibMor, stop over to our giveaway and enter to win!



Friday, February 10, 2017

Review/Giveaway: Old Trapper Beef Jerky

29 comments:

Out here in the hills of Western Maryland and South Central Pennsylvania, dried meat is a ubiquitous staple in every convenience store or gas station one encounters. Not just your token Slim Jim at the register—you usually get a “meat aisle” that rivals the candy aisle in variety, and you’d be surprised at some of the quality available at your average Sheetz.

As a kid, my dad used to go on a lot of hunting trips. My mom expressly forbid him to hang deer carcasses in the garage or process his own conquests, so he would take them to the butcher and return with various goodies. The jerky and the dried chipped venison were always the best.

Maybe I have been spoiled, but store-bought jerky has always sort of been a consolation prize.  It’s usually sort of shoe-leathery and has that distinct MSG flavor—something that a lot of people (who are not me) actually enjoy.  So, when I do eat it, I want the ingredients to be as close to that childhood jerky as possible.



I recently had the opportunity to try Old Trapper Beef Jerky for review.  Old Trapper is an Oregon-based company that has been in the bee jerky business for over forty years, using, as they say on their site, "the best lean strips of beef, freshest seasoning ingredients, and real wood-fired smoke".  

They sent me a generous bag (10 oz) of their Traditional Style Old Fashioned Beef Jerky, as well as a smaller bag of their teriyaki flavor.

The ingredients in the Traditional Style are thus: Beef, Brown Sugar, Water, Salt, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Vinegar, Flavorings, Sodium Nitrite.

Okay, not too bad in terms of jerky. “Hydrolyzed corn protein” is essentially a natural source of MSG, while Sodium Nitrate is contained in practically all cured meats.

I was slightly disappointed with this discovery, because I was somehow under the impression that “naturally wood smoked” meant “absence of nitrates”.

Old Trapper makes its jerky using quality sliced steak, and bits of gristle and fat were pleasantly absent.

The texture is notably more moist and tender, and chewy without being tough. The brown sugar gives it a slightly sweeter flavor than most, and the vinegar a little bit of tanginess. It is fairly highly seasoned, in my opinion—it could have been a bit more subtle, but that’s just personal taste.

The Teriyaki flavor punched this up to the next level.  The ingredients here are:

Beef, Soy Sauce [Water, Soy Sauce Powder (Wheat, Soybeans, Salt, Maltodextrin) Sodium Benzoate], Brown Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Salt, Flavorings, Sodium Nitrite.

Nothing personal to Old Trapper, I just don’t particularly care for teriyaki. It’s a flavor profile that I find kind of “meh” in general, on anything.

For people who love that super-sweet and salty flavor, this will be a good choice, and  proved to be very popular with people I shared it with.

Of course, venison and beef are two distinctly different flavors, but I would say that Old Trapper is the closest to the butcher-shop quality that I’ve tasted in a store-bought beef jerky, and it should appeal to jerky connoisseurs anywhere.

In addition to Old-Fashioned and Teriyaki, they also currently carry Peppered Jerky, Hot & Spicy, and Original Beefsteak, which is cut into thick strips so that it retains a chewy, meaty quality.

They also offer a number of other snacks, including snack sticks and deli-style sausages in a variety of flavors, as well as snack boxes and an option to make a subscription-style recurring order.

Aside from their products, the website itself is a fun place to visit - the "Old Trapper" himself has his own biography, as well as a series of entertaining video commercials sure to make you laugh.

Old Trapper is generously offering a sample pack of at least 6 of their most popular snacks to one lucky winner in the US. Keep reading to see how you can enter to win!

http://oldtrapper.com/
https://www.facebook.com/oldtrapper
https://twitter.com/old_trapper
https://www.instagram.com/old_trapper/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLd2nihEzChwm0uhFAba3Jw



To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Giveaway Tools Entry Form below. This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning. (If you don't leave a comment, any additional entries will be void.)

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 2/24. 

The winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Good luck!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #99

7 comments:
Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this past week - if you haven't checked these posts out yet, I hope you will! This past week, Lynda's been all about the CHOCOLATE!



~~~

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!




Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp: 1 Day Work - 30 Recipes // Lambert's Lately




How to Make Dough for Handmade Jewelry & Crafts Making // Creative Khadija




Home Management Binder: Daily Rhythm (with Printables) // The Woolly Homesteader




Simple Chinese Orange Chicken // Fluster Buster




Chocolate Marshmallow Pops & MIY Treat Toppers // White House Crafts




Die Cut DIY Watercolor Art // Crafts Unleashed




If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!





Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!


Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:





Here we go!