28 February 2014

Get Your Morning Energy with Honey Bunches of Oats

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Honey Bunches of Oats for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy #MorningEnergy
Cereal is sort of my guilty pleasure breakfast treat, as I don't often buy pre-made breakfast meals. Honey Bunches of Oats was one of my favorite childhood cereals (honey? bunches of oats? Yes, to both!) and I jumped at the opportunity to try the newest cereal in the HBOats line, Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy.

Available in two tasty flavors, Cinnamon Crunch and Chocolaty Almond Crunch, Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy makes it easy to get in a nutritious and fulfilling breakfast that tastes good. Each serving of HBOats Morning Energy contains 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar as well as delivering more than 2/3 of your day's whole grain.

Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy #MorningEnergy
Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch includes chocolatey morsels, almonds, and cocoa-y clusters of puffed rice. I liked it, though I don't know that I'd want the taste of chocolate for breakfast every day as I generally have to be in a mood to enjoy the taste of chocolate.

Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy #MorningEnergy
My favorite was the Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Cinnamon crunch, made with sweet, crunchy cinnamon clusters. This flavor is more to my liking and morning palate. I absolutely love cinnamon, and I favor cereals with that flavor.

Another important requirement I have for cereals, beside nutritional content and taste, is the crunchy to soggy ratio. I would say that this cereal doesn't stand up to milk as long as others, but the crunchy clusters keep it in balance.

As far as nutritional content is concerned, HBOats Morning Energy would be a good compromise between parents and kids. It contains enough good news on the nutrition front while appealing to most kids' palates. Even for your adult self, it's a good cereal to add to your collection (because I assume most adults have a Seinfeldian cereal collection - I currently have four in my rotation).

If you want to learn more about this cereal, visit Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy on Facebook and on Twitter.

Visit Sponsor's Site

06 February 2014

Review: Mrs. T's Pierogies

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Mrs. T's Pierogies
Ever since my Pittsburgh friend told me about a local delicacy called "pierogi pizza", pierogi have been floating around in my mind. When the opportunity to join this campaign was made available, I opted in since it was obviously my calling.

Despite making most things I eat from scratch, I do like to keep tasty and easy to prepare foods on hand for lazy evenings, post-run snacks, and spur of the moment get-togethers. Mrs. T's frozen pierogies are right up my alley in that regard.

Mrs. T's Pierogies
Mrs. T's Pierogies
I picked up a few different flavors that stood out to me, and those were potato & onion, potato, spinach, & feta, and potato & 5 cheese blend made with whole grain. The pierogi are made with a whipped potato filling consisting of dehydrated potatoes and various flavoring. In the two flavors I tried, the fillings were pureed. I'm not sure if this is typically how pierogi are made or not.

Mrs. T's Pierogies
Each box contains twelve pierogies, serving 4 people. If you prepare the pierogi in addition to a meal, just three per person might be enough. I cooked up six for myself. I didn't like that there wasn't a resealable liner in the box for any remaining pierogi, but putting them in small freezer bags is easier to store anyway.

Mrs. T's Pierogies
There are five different ways to prepare the frozen pierogi, boil, fry, bake, saute, or "grill" in a grill pan. I chose to saute it because, more butter. It takes just eight minutes to prepare this way, and the pierogi get a nicely browned, crispy shell. After they were done, I sauteed panko breadcrumbs until golden brown and sprinkled it over the pierogi, topping with fresh parsley. This would be a good way to prepare the pierogi, alongside a dip, for a friendly gathering.

Mrs. T's Pierogies
They looked good, but did they taste good? I thought so. The flavors in the two varieties I tried (potato & onion and potato & 5 cheese blend) weren't as pronounces as I expected, though that's not a con in any way. I couldn't really tell the 5 cheese had whole grain in it at all. Overall, I'm a fan. I look forward to working my way through the remaining pierogi in the freezer.

To connect with Mrs. T's Pierogies, visit Facebook and Twitter.

01 February 2014

Easy Valentine's Dinner with Buitoni and Nestle

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.
#Valentines4All #shop  #cbias 1
Valentine's Day is just 13 days away. Although it's not a priority holiday for me, it is still nice to plan a delicious dinner and remind your special someone (boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/parents/siblings/friends) that you care about them. Sometimes I go all out, creating themed desserts, other times I keep it simple and fun. If you're new to cooking, or don't have much time to spend on dinner, I'm going to show you how to create a fun and delicious meals with Buitoni and Nestle products.

#Valentines4All #shop #cbias
I went to the Garfield, NJ, Walmart Supercenter to purchase Buitoni Sauces and the Nestle Tres Leches baking kit. For whatever reason, the Buitoni fresh pastas and sauces are located at the front of the store, by produce, which I walked right by on my way in. Picture me wandering the store like a goof wondering why I couldn't find any Buitoni products. Anyway, eventually I found them and got the Alfredo sauce and a package of sweet Italian sausage tortelloni. The tres leches kits were found on the special baking display in the middle of the aisle, by the baking aisle.

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For the pasta, I immediately knew I wanted to recreate a "drooling gnocchi" type of dish, only with the tortelloni. For drooling gnocchi, pasta is coated in a rich sauce made from butter, heavy cream, chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, and more cheese sprinkled on top. Alfredo sauce is practically all that, cutting down the bulk of the work.

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1. Preheat oven to 450°. In a saucepan large enough to hold the cooked pasta, warm the Alfredo sauce over low heat. In another pot, cook pasta in boiling water for 7 minutes. Drain and toss in Alfredo sauce.

2. Transfer pasta to a greased 9" baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese.

3. Bake for 15 minutes, until top is browned and sauce is bubbling.

4. Let cook for 5 minutes before serving. Serve alongside a simple spinach salad.

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The finish dish tasted incredible. The sauce didn't need any extra seasoning, and I thought the pasta was delicious.

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The tres leches cake kit makes a difficult cake simple. All the components (besides fresh ingredients) needed are provided in the kit.

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Combine the cake mix with eggs and oil, beating until smooth. Lick beaters. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake. As cake bakes, combine the condensed and evaporated milk with whole milk. I reduced the amount of whole milk from 1 cup to 1/4 cup. After cake has baked and cooled briefly, poke surface with fork. Pour milk mixture over cake and let stand until cake absorbs all the milk. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.

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I ran into a little trouble removing the cake from the pan. I wasn't thinking or else I'd have lined the pan with parchment. Oh well. After a little effort (banging on pan), the cake eventually loosened and came out, though not in one piece.

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No matter, as the whipped cream hid my mistake.

While the cake alone is tasty, it needed an extra Valentine's Day pizazz, so I made a simple strawberry sauce. All you have to do is puree 1 cup thawed frozen sliced strawberries until smooth, pouring mixture through a sieve to remove any seeds. Add a dollop or two onto the plate.

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Looks delicious, doesn't it? It was! The cake was very moist. I've never made a tres leches cake, if you can believe that, and this has inspired me to make a completely homemade one in the future. But for now, this cake mix is pretty tasty and easy.

That's all it takes to create a special meal! Let me know if you've tried these products, and what you think of them.

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