Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Product review: Fiber One

I tried two products, the two they send when you sign up for a free sample on their website.


The first was FiberOne cereal, it looked like a bran based cereal, and it was heavy on the bran, the flakes were thick and took over all the other flavors and so at the end while i did not eat the box for the fiber, it tasted like i had.


I wasnt expecting much, most bars are disappointing to me, especially when they try to disguise the taste by smothering it in chocolate, but while the bar was called chocolate and oats it didnt seem to be over burdened by it. It tasted nice, it had lots of oats (probably my favorite whole grain), didnt taste like soy, some chocolate, that didnt taste like really cheap quality stuff with a bit of wax mixed in for shine, and even had a bit of a caramel undertone. It didnt break your teeth, nor did it stick to them, and didnt leave sticky residue on my hands. As for  the ingredients, although not overwhelmed by soy products, it does fall into the sin of HFCS, something i avoid. the fact that its 7th on the list of ingredients is a plus, that fact that theres 3 other sweeteners in bar is a bit shocking. And the first ingredient is... you have to see it for yourself, id like to see what people would guess. next time youre in the store check it out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

THink outside the box for company

There are 3 types of meal you usually get when you go to someone's house for dinner.
1) Pasta people, this can range from mac and cheese to shrimp scampi to lasagna to spaggetti and bottled sauce. But there are many people out there who almost always serve some kind of pasta for company. Its understandable, its easy to make, fast, and a crowd pleaser. Even we've been guilty of serving some friends so much pasta over the years they think thats all we ever make.

2) Grillers - Everyone has been to a party where the entire meal is pretty much prepared after you get there on the grill, for many this is strictly a summer time activity, but for others it year round. Theres such a surge in the summer by september grilled anything is usually unappealing to many.

3) What's a meal without a roast? people. Something roast be it beef, chicken, pork or turkey. Theres a roast, usually with some kind of potatoes and some other green veg. The sides can increase dramatically though thanksgiving or christmas dinners are usually the most extreme version.

I am guilty of falling into all categories and many times over, but i have been trying to rebel against the norm and this last weekend decided to feed the crowd something a little more outside the box. So i bought some cooked chicken breast at the store and went for chinese chicken salad instead.

5 chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2 in. cubes
i can water chestnuts, drained
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 bag coleslaw salad mix
1/2 cup cashews
2 tortilla, cut into strips
oil for frying

1/2 cup sugar (i went down the dark path it seems)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup veg oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sesame seeds
mix up the dressing, fry up the tortilla strips and drain on a paper towel. Arrange in a large bowl, cabbage mix, sugar snaps, chicken, water chestnuts, cashews and tortilla strips. Add the dressing before serving and enjoy a different kind of night for company. Oh and dont forget to get them to bring dessert.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Perfect Hot Fudge Sundae - a quick and easy ice cream fix

The trick to the ultimate hot fudge sundae is completely dependant on the quality of ingredients. For ice cream, I like Double Rainbow's vanilla, (by the way the fresher the ice cream the better the flavor) and for chocolate, there are many great brands out there, but basically the silkier the texture the better the fudge. The three little bars that come wrapped from trader joes are great. Personally im a milk chocolate fan, and normally use Cadbury's, but there's something about hot fudge sundaes that calls for dark.
I have found that simple is best.
For the fudge, i make a simple ganache with a one to one ratio.
1 cup cream
2 cups chocolate, bars are better than chips, unless you have GREAT chips

heat the cream until small bubbles form on the sides of the pot, (or microwave in jar) pour over a bowl filled with broken up bits of chocolate.
Wait a couple of minutes and then stir together til melted. its best served in large glasses (vs. bowls) pour some into the bottom of the glass, add ice cream (I do two scoops per person), and then pour more over the top, reserve some chocolate sauce and serve on the side, (round half way through chocolate lovers need a refill)