Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vitalicious makes DELICIOUS products

I can finally say I have tried VitaTops!  Vitalicious sent me a wonderful (and complimentary!) assortment of their goodies to review.  Their VitaTops truly are 'deliciously convenient,' and at only 100 calories each, how can you go wrong?  They are low-fat, fortified with vitamins and minerals, made with whole grains, and provide 5-6g fiber. 

Here are some of the VitaTops I was sent:

Apple Crumb: 9 of 10.  Strong apple flavor and a great crumb topping.  I loved the apple chunks inside :-).  Nice texture and perfect sweetness.  It was good right out of the freezer as a cool treat on a hot day.  A tasty way to get your vitamins!

Triple Chocolate Chunk: 9.5 of 10.  Yay for chocolate!  This flavor is quite sweet and makes for a great dessert.  The chocolate chunks are fabulous.  I also enjoyed the soft and chewy texture.

CranBran: 8.5 of 10.  The cranberry flavor was great, but not as strong as I would have liked.  Very hearty and filling with an oaty texture.  It does taste 'healthy' :-).

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip: 10 of 10. Wow - this is really fudgy!  The PB chips are a perfect addition.  My only complaint is that the chips were concentrated in the center rather than being spread out.  Still, this was a great treat that I thoroughly enjoyed!

VitaTops are a tasty low-cal treat.  Granted, they do have a lot of ingredients, but at least they don't use preservatives or artificial ingredients.  They're a great alternative to some other packaged foods, and I'd say they're perfectly fine in moderation.

I'll be doing reviews of the other flavors soon, but now I must work on a paper that's due tomorrow morning!  Time to hit the keyboard... in Microsoft Word rather than Blogger ;-).


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last of the Chobani

Homework or blog?  Tonight it is blog... and then homework.  Tonight I'm going to finish up my reviews of the Chobani yogurt I was sent... a hard job, but someone's got to do it ;-).  Here is my first review.

Strawberry: 10 of 10! Smooth, thick, and creamy.  A very strong and natural strawberry flavor.  It's also pretty sweet, but only 19g of sugar, which is pretty good as far as flavored yogurts go! 

Peach: 10 of 10. Just peachy ;-).  I loved the little peach chunks blended with the amazing greek yogurt base.  Raw sunflower seeds make a nice topper too.

Nothing beats good greek yogurt, and Chobani definitely delivers.

Vitalicious reviews will be coming up next! 

Enjoy the upcoming weekend everyone!  I'm hoping to be able to take some time to see Elephant, a free performance at the University of Illinois.  This performance is part of The Unreliable Bestiary, "an ark of stories about animals, our relationships with them, and the worlds they inhabit."  You can learn more here:


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pillsbury Sweet Moments Winner! and CSN Stores review

And.... declard my Pillsbury Sweet Moments Giveaway winner to be... #22... or Mo' Betta!  Congratulations!  And thank you to everyone else for entering this giveaway!  FYI: This prize pack, in addition to the product, prize pack, and information I received were all given to me from Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark.

Now for the CSN Stores review!  CSN Stores generously provided me with a $40 giftcard to use in their stores.  They have SO much, but the two things I ended up purchasing were a Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox 8" Chef's Knife and an Emerilware by All Clad Cast Iron 10" Skillet.  I am super happy with both items!  They were shipped fast and were packaged well - so no bumps, dings, or scratches :-).

Isn't this knife gorgeous!  It sliced through a couple large raw sweet potatoes like a dream.  I was afraid it was going to cut right through the cutting board (it didn't!).  I was even a bit afraid to use it since I've never had a knife so large and sharp.  I'm very pleased with it though.  Now I think I need a knife block.  It just seems wrong to just put this knife in a drawer with my other cheap knives :-(.

I've been wanting a cast iron skillet since forever, but have gotten by without.  Now I have one (boy, is it heavy!), and the its features are wonderful:

•10" cast iron made for high heating cooking
•Excellent heat retention - keeps food warm at table

•Perfect for browning, searing, frying, and sauteing

•Heats evenly and consistently

•No warping or chipping

•Becomes virtually non-stick with seasoning and use

•Pre-seasoned pan surfaces and oven safe up to 600F

•Heirloom quality with signature thumb rest

•Large, extra-long handle and easy-to-grip side "helper" handles

•Lifetime warranty
So, do any of my readers own a chef's knife and/or a cast iron skillet?  If so, what are your favorite uses for each?  I could especially use ideas for the cast iron skillet :-).
And my goal is to post at least twice a week, but, alas, life has been so busy!  Maybe shorter posts?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

CHOtastic Chobani review

I received an awesome complimentary assortment of Chobani Greek Yogurt to review awhile back :-).  Here are some of the flavors:


Raspberry: 10 of 10!  It was everything I hoped for!  I LOVE raspberries and the raspberry flavor of this yogurt was quite prominent.  It was great with walnuts mixed in too :-).

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Pineapple: 9.5 of 10.  I enjoyed the pieces of pineapple.  They weren’t soft and mushy, but rather substantial.  I’ll admit I was hesitant though because I’ve been scarred by the canned pineapple served with my school lunches in grade school :-(.


Pomegranate: 10 of 10.  The pomegranate seeds added a great crunch and burst of flavor.  Loved how thick an creamy the yogurt was – so delicious!


Blueberry: 10 of 10.  A very strong and fresh flavor.  0% fat and oh, so good!


Strawberry Banana: 10 of 10.  I’m not normally a fan of strawberry banana flavors, but somehow Chobani pulled it off for me.  Maybe the 2% yogurt base made it more rich?  The strawberry pieces were great too!


Vanilla: 9 of 10.  A deep, hearty vanilla flavor, but it seemed kind of weird to me.  Maybe it was too tart.  It was still good, but not as amazing as the other flavors.


0% plain: 9.5 of 10.  Tart, thick, and smooth.  Very substantial and a lot of protein for only 100 calories.  Nuts are a great topper too :-).


2% plain: 10 of 10.  Less tart and richer than the 0%.  It was almost like sour cream in that is was sooo creamy.  Perfect in my cantaloupe bowl :-).

I’ve still got a few more to review, but so far my impression is very positive.  The high scores are my honest opinion.  I couldn’t find much to complain about.  Chobani makes quality Greek yogurt!  I guess my one suggestion would be for them to add more calcium and Vitamin D to their yogurt. 

Don’t forget to enter my Pillsbury Sweet Moments giveaway here!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pillsbury Sweet Moments Review and Giveaway!

Another giveaway for you all!  Aren't you excited?!  I knew you would be :-).

I joined MyBlogSpark a while back, and they just sent me an amazing "Sweet Moments" prize pack.  A big thank you to Pillsbury for providing the free product, information, and prize pack through MyBlogSpark.

The prize pack included a VIP coupon for the new Pillsbury Sweet Moments and a chocolate spa kit. The spa kit included a loofah, mint chocolate foot scrub, milk chocolate body lotion, cocoa chocolate shower gel, and cocoa chocolate bath salts.  It is luxurious :-).

Pillsbury recently came out with Sweet Moments Bite-Size and Molten Lava Brownies.  They are available in the refrigerated baked goods section of your local grocery store. 

Now, this product isn't something I would normally eat (very processed!), and in fact, I really have no desire to.  I therefore decided to see if my Mom would like to try them... she is conveniently visiting me right now :-).   Below is what I purchased with my VIP coupon:

Mom: 8 of 10.  Tasty and not bad considering they're made with artificial flavors, colors, etc.

Now for the giveaway sponsored by Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark!  One (1) reader will win a Sweet Moments prize pack (just like I got). Open to U.S. Residents. Giveaway will end on September 18, 2010. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn, ensure you leave a valid email address.  Prize pack pictured below:

Mandatory Entry: Leave me a comment telling me your favorite way to pamper yourself?  Please include your e-mail address too.

Extra Entries (leave 1 comment for each): Blog about this giveaway on your blog and leave a link.

Follow my blog.

Follow me on twitter and tweet: "Pillsbury Sweet Moments,vip coupon and chocolate spa prize pack giveaway! @cygirl88 Ends 9/18 #mbsspark."  Leave a link too please.

Add Food, Fotos, and Fun! to your blogroll.

That should be plenty of entries!  Best of luck to you all!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Veg-Feasting Cookbook from Book Publishing Company

I received another complimentary cookbook to review from the Book Publishing CompanyThe Veg-Feasting Cookbook is full of fabulous vegetarian recipes from “Local Restaurants and Leading Chefs in the Pacific Northwest.”  As you can see, I’ve already got some recipes bookmarked, including the one that I’m going to share with you in just a moment.


Front and back covers are shown above.

The recipe I'm sharing is Lentil Pottage.  Here’s the recipe:


I chose this recipe because it looked SUPER easy and my life’s been kind of hectic lately…  The recipe turned out quite well, though it was lacking a bit in flavor.  I’m thinking I might use vegetable broth instead of water next time.  I adorned my bowl with carrots :-).


This cookbook also has some great articles in addition to the recipes, including a brief history of the Vegetarian Scene in the Pacific Northwest and an extensive list of foods that deserve a place in a healthy kitchen.  This cookbook definitely deserves a 10 of 10!

In other news, I went for 2 1-mi. runs in my Vibram FiveFingers this weekend.  The first run went wonderfully, but my calves hurt quite a bit during the second run.  I wonder if that is normal when you’re starting out or if I’m running with them wrong? 


Friday, September 3, 2010

Yurbuds Review

It’s going to be a 3-day weekend!  Now I can finally get all caught up on my class work ;-).  And… hopefully get in some good posts and reviews.

I was recently sent a complimentary pair of yurbuds to review, and they were just what I needed for running with my iPod.  Here’s a pic of my pair: 


They’re blue :-).  I give them a 9.5 of 10.  They definitely help my iPod earphones stay in place when running!  They’re also very comfortable and light, which actually made me afraid they might fall out, but nope – they didn’t budge.  Now I just need some noise canceling earphones, but it’s probably safer if I can hear background noise even if it is annoying traffic sounds :-(.

Guess what else I have to share?!  I’m using Windows Live Writer.  I’ve had some issues uploading pictures to Blogger, so I wanted an alternative way to make my posts.  So far I really like it.  Does anyone else use this?  I know I’m a little slow in figuring out all the new technologies out there :-).

And now for some more Champaign-Urbana pictures since I’m obsessed with I enjoy photography.




Next up will be another cookbook review…
Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!  Any fun plans?  I’m hoping to get in my first run with my Vibrams :-).