Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Susan L. for winning the Bath and Body Works Gift Set!!! You have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail before I have to pick another winner.

Huge thanks to all who entered! Be sure to stick around for upcoming giveaways and reviews...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lawry's Marinades and Seasoning Salt Review

Recently I received Lawry's Seasoning Salt and marinades as a campaign for bzzagent. I wasn't super excited about it because I've had the Lawry's brand of seasoning salt and some marinades before. No big deal right? Wrong!

Where do I even begin? First my fiance' and I tried the new Lawry's Mediterranean Herb and White Wine Marinade on chicken legs. We marinated the legs for two days and then grilled them. Seriously the best flavor marinade I've ever had that wasn't homemade. The marinade had a little citrus taste too it and just the right amount of oregano and garlic. My fiance' and I were both pretty impressed with this one so we didn't think the next would compare. We were wrong...

Lawry's Santa Fe Chili marinade was just as good. We grilled up some North Atlantic Cod with this marinade and it was awesome! The fish wasn't too spicy and had a great citrus flavor to it. Lawry's website says (This robust Southwest-style marinade has an authentic blend of spices and seasonings, including chili pepper, cumin, oregano and a splash of lime.) Mmmmm... Robust is definitely the word for this marinade.
Next we just made some regular old french fries with the Lawry's Seasoning Salt. I won't go into big detail with this because most people are familiar with their seasoning salt. Lawry's Seasoning Salt has been around forever and I'm pretty sure everyone has tried it at least once in their lives. I will say; however, I was excited to get a bottle since ours was almost out and I always use Lawry's on my french fries. It's probably the best seasoning salt out there and you can use it on almost anything.
If you love flavor like I do then I would suggest running to your nearest grocer to pick up a bottle of each of Lawry's new marinade's Mediterranean Herb and White Wine and the Santa Fe Chili. Make sure you have a bottle of Lawry's seasoning salt in your cupboard before you head out though. You don't ever want to run out of that! I know I wouldn't!

To find recipes and products you can visit the Lawry's website or "Like" them on Facebook.

Now if only I could say Lawry's right...

I received the new Lawry's products as part of a campaign for bzzagent.

Product Review For Private Selection

Recently I got to try out a few things from the Fred Meyer Brand, Private Selection, through Bzzagent. Private Selection is an Exclusive brand made just for Fred Meyer stores. The brand is inspired by gourmet food and they offer many different options. For this campaign I was offered to try the Private Selection chips, ice cream, hamburger meat, and homemade pies.

When it came to the Private Selection chips I wasn't extremely excited. I must inform you though, that I am not by any means a huge chip fan, so my opinion on this may be different then yours. I also do not like a ton of salt on anything I eat and when I do use salt, it's usually kosher salt.The tortilla chips were smaller and a bit too salty for my taste buds. They honestly taste just like the big brand name tortilla chips and normally I'm not a connoisseur. The Private Selection Sea Salt and Black Pepper Kettle chips; however, were very tasty. They weren't too salty for me and they had really good flavor. They were greasy, but what kettle chips aren't? Same went for the Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar. The salt wasn't overwhelming and neither was the balsamic vinegar. The flavor was just right for both flavors of the kettle chips.

On to my favorite part of this campaign in which I am very familiar; Private Selection Ice Cream, yummy! I absolutely love Private Selection Ice Cream and have since they came out with it. A half gallon of ice cream runs about $5 but it's well worth it in my opinion. They have the most unusual flavors of ice cream and sherbet. My ultimate favorite is the Extreme Maximum Moose Tracks Fudge. If you like chocolate and Moose Tracks Fudge, then this is definitely the ice cream flavor for you! My only hope is that one day they will come out with a vanilla ice cream with just Moose Tracks Fudge in it. During the campaign however, I did try some new flavors out. The first one I tried was the Private Selection Sweet Honey Baklava which is a honey flavored ice cream with pieces of baklava and a walnut honey sauce folded in. It tasted just like baklava and I really enjoyed the taste, I just wish it had more of the actual baklava pieces in it. Next I tried the Private Selection Raspberry Buttercream Cake ice cream which is buttercream frosting with white cake and raspberry sauce folded in. Once again, it had great flavor but just needs some more white cake pieces. Last I tried the Private Selection Blood Red Orange sherbet. It was pretty good but I still enjoy regular orange sherbet better. Either way, I would definitely recommend the Private Selection brand of ice cream if you're looking for different flavors and great taste.

The Private Selection 100% Angus Burger Meat was another part of this campaign. You can find this in the meat department by all the other ground hamburger meat. I never even realized that Private Selection had fresh ground beef in the meat department until a couple weeks ago. My fiance' and I bought two packages of it and just made regular old hamburger helper with one and grilled hamburgers with the other. It wasn't much different then other hamburger meat just a better quality I guess. We didn't find any gristle in it which is a wonderful thing and it wasn't super fatty.

The last part of the Private Selection campaign was the homemade six inch fruit pies. These are found in the bakery department if your store carries them. We usually shop at Kroger and we had to try 3 different stores to find these pies. I'm kind of bitter about this part because we wasted a ton of gas just to use a 20% off coupon. We ended up buying the only kind this store had which was the Private Selection Dutch Apple. We bought two and brought them home only to find that one was as hard as a rock. We ended up tasting the better of the two and it tasted just like an ordinary Dutch Apple Pie that you can buy at any bakery. I wasn't very impressed, especially since we had to drive about 30 miles out of the way. I will never drive that far for a Private Selection Pie again.

All in All, some of the products of the Private Selection brand aren't much different then big brand names but they do have good flavor. I will always recommend the ice cream; for the rest of my life! Mmmm... next time I hope we get to try the pizzas.

I recieved these products as part of a campaign for bzzagent.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bath & Body Works Giveaway!

Who's ready for my first giveaway?!?! YAY!

It's a super cute gift box from Bath & Body Works that includes three delicious smelling 3 oz. body lotions. The lotions included are Rio Rumberry, Aruba Coconut, and Bali Mango. They all smell wonderful and remind me of hanging out at the beach on the Florida Gulf Coast while scoping out the "eye candy".

Sign up below to win it for yourself or a friend! Good luck to all!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

McCormick Grill Mates Review

I was given the opportunity to become a Grill Mates Ambassador and try and share McCormick Grill Mates spices, BBQ sauce, and marinades through Crowdtap. My family and I hosted a BBQ over the weekend to try McCormick Grill Mates and it went extremely well. We had over 20 people show up for this event and it was a blast. We had tons of sides, fresh margaritas, and two grills going all evening, one charcoal and one propane. Perfect for all the grilling we did!

First we started by marinading local fresh water shrimp in the Grill Mates Spiced Brandy & Wine marinade. The marinade comes in a package and all you do is add a little white or apple cider vinegar and oil in a Ziploc and shake. That was the best marinaded shrimp I've ever had and I know everyone agreed! It had amazing flavor, just the right amount of sweet, and wasn't too overpowering on the sweet.

Next we tried the Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ sauce on grilled chicken. This was a pretty big hit as well. Once again the flavor was perfect. The sweet BBQ was just right and the bourbon wasn't too strong. I made my own Brown Sugar Bourbon sauce just for giggles and it was nothing compared to McCormicks.

Later we grilled steaks, hamburgers, and pork chops using the Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning. The Montreal steak is a great seasoning as well with just the right amount of salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic, and paprika. Anything with red pepper and garlic is a hit in my book. There was not a single complaint about the Montreal Steak seasoning and surprisingly it worked out well on pork chops.

While we were trying out the Montreal Steak seasoning, we also tried out the Grill Mates Molasses Bacon seasoning on hamburgers. AMAZING! Salt, sugar, molasses, black pepper, garlic, onion, bacon fat, and vinegar make up this great seasoning. It was sweet yet had a little tang and everyone enjoyed this one as well.

The last McCormick Grill Mate we tried was the Memphis Pit BBQ Rub. While this one wasn't as big of a hit, it still had good flavor. I wasn't a huge fan but everyone seemed to enjoy this, too. One package of Grill Mates Memphis Pit BBQ Rub can cover 2 full racks of baby back ribs. Cook for 2-3 hours on medium high and they're good to go!

The biggest hits I'd have to say were the Montreal Steak, Molasses Bacon, and Spiced Brandy and Wine. If you're going to have a cook-out this summer, I would definitely suggest McCormick Grill Mates to flavor up your protein. Everyone had a fantastic time becoming masters of the grill and truly enjoyed all the great flavor!
Thanks Crowdtap and McCormick Grill Mates for picking me and my family to try all these new grilling flavors!
Check out McCormick Grill Mates online and on Facebook!
Join Crowdtap for opportunities like this online and check them out on Facebook!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Product Review for Pretzilla Pretzel Buns

So a couple of weeks ago my family and I decided to take a trip up to Whole Foods since we've never been to one and the only organic grocery store around here doesn't have a huge selection. We're walking through checking everything out and I came across these yummy looking soft pretzel buns. I have to say, the packaging is what really caught my eye but then I realized the buns didn't have salt on them so I was even more intrigued. We bought one package of the burger buns even though they were on sale 2 for $7. Two days later we decide to check them out. It wasn't until we had our sandwiches made that we realized they were moldy. We were completely bummed because this was something we've never tried before.

I went ahead and e-mailed the company Pretzilla to inform them of the mold, mind you it was the Saturday of memorial day weekend. I wasn't expecting a reply until at least Tuesday, but to my surprise, I was contacted back the following morning. The company was very proactive in fixing the problem and offered to replace my product right away. I was told that the buns don't do well in the warmer months because they are 100% organic, but they would freeze well. I was very please at Pretzilla's customer service and the honesty they had shown with me.

By Thursday, we had our buns! I was super excited to finally get to try the Pretzilla soft pretzel buns out but we had a big cook-out to plan for, so the first thing we did was pop those packages in the deep freezer. Actually that was the second thing we did, the first was to check out the fun box they came in. When we were ready for them, we pulled them out of the freezer to defrost for a few hours then right before dinner, we popped them in the oven for 5 mins at 325 degrees. PERFECT! They were definitely worth the wait. They tasted just like a pretzel and the texture was much better then a regular old bun. My favorite thing about them was the fact that they weren't loaded up with salt like pretzels usually are. I also love the fact that they are 100% organic but still taste great! My least favorite thing about them is that you can't buy them everywhere. You can however, buy them online or at select organic food markets. I'm hoping that I can talk our local market into stocking them, though.

Between the excellent customer service and great tasting product, I'd have to say that it was a great experience and I am sure glad to have found this company. I would definitely recommend Pretzilla Pretzel Buns to everyone I know but I would make sure to let them know that if they aren't going to eat them right away, they should probably be stored in the freezer until it was time for use.

Here's a little info about the company: Since 1923, Miller Baking Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been hand-crafting old world recipes. So it's only fitting we've taken a 12th-century invention -the pretzel- and turned it into the most delicious bun of our time. They're available in burger buns, sausage buns and mini buns.

Check them out on Facebook!
Buy online or check out the retailers below.