Sunday, June 30, 2013

Taking a Blog Break!

I'm taking a blog break for the month of July.
I won't be posting at any of my 4 blogs, until early August.
Time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!
I hope you enjoy browsing the review archives in the meantime. 
Wishing you all a wonderful summer and see you soon. :<)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert

I'm always on the look-out for good, dairy-free alternatives, especially when it comes to frozen dessert treats.
On the plus side, this is a dairy-free dessert that includes organic coconut milk. You can read more about the nutritional benefits of coconut milk here and many other articles online. And when it comes to coconut milk, organic is the only way to go.
The processing of coconut milk can vary quite a bit and getting the organic type really is worth the bit of additional $$ it might entail. And not just for frozen desserts like these; coconut milk products are showing up everywhere these days!
So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert Cherry Amaretto is packed with cherries and I do mean packed. Nice big chunks throughout. Not like some fruit ice creams where it's hard to find even small pieces of fruit, let alone chunks.
What I didn't like about this product was the sweetness. It was overly sweet, taking away from the cherry flavour.
I also thought the texture of the product could have been smoother. It didn't have that nice velvety texture that I've enjoyed with other coconut milk frozen desserts like: Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss Bars (click to read my full review). The texture of desserts like this really does make a difference and So Delicious brand didn't get top marks, in this respect.
A 500 ML. container cost about $6. at our local food co-op, so it is about average for frozen dessert products like these.
So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert Cherry Amaretto was OK but not great. I probably won't be buying it again, mainly because it was just too sweet.
Overall rating for this product: Fair. 2 out of 5.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Neal Brothers Organic Cheese Twists


My name is Geraldine and I am a cheesie addict! ;<)

 In spite of ongoing efforts to remove as much junk food as possible from my diet, especially in recent years; sometimes...well sometimes I've still gotta have a bag of cheesie-type snacks to satisfy that particular food craving.

Can you relate?
I've tried a few healthier versions of cheesies over the years and most of them fell well short of the mark, in comparison to mainstream cheesie brands like Cheetos and Hawkins.

Usually these "cheesie-wannabes"  had blah, ho- hum  flavours and weird textures (and that is definitely a big part of cheesie appeal) that brought pipe cleaners or packing pellets to mind!
 Happily, that has changed, now that I've discovered:

 Neal Brothers Organic Cheese Twists.

These snacks rock!
The Neal Brothers (based in Ontario) did their homework when it came to creating a cheesie-type snack that was not only a healthier choice but with all the flavour and just right texture, that cheesie-addicts like me have come to expect.
Neil Brothers Organic Cheese Twists are definitely cheesy and with a crisp, crunchy texture that is  satisfying to the palette. No pipe cleaner reminders here!
And with an ingredient list that is healthier and less guilt-provoking than those mainstream brands.


A 113 gram bag provides 2 generous servings (they are light in weight) and one serving contains only 240 calories. Gluten-free too.


And by way of comparison,  here's the scoop on Cheetos brand:

I know which one I'd rather be eating.

And without any sacrifice when it comes to crunchy snacking satisfaction!

I've also tried Neal Brothers White Cheddar Popcorn, and again this is another winner:

As I've mentioned above, this company is based in Ontario but I was able to buy their products at our local food co-op, here in BC, so hopefully their distribution is continuing to expand. No mention on their site of US distribution, but hopefully that will follow too.

This really is a snack company that has a lot to offer. They also carry other products including: pretzels, salsas, dressings, tortillas...stop by their attractive website to check out all their products and to read more about the brothers behind the brand!

Overall rating for this product: Very Good. 4 out of 5.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Come Home by Lisa Scottoline

I recently read: Come Home by Lisa Scottoline.
I'm usually (more) intrigued and interested in reading a novel that has a wide range of ratings/reviews and that was certainly the case with this book.  
The story's main character: Jill Farrow is a pediatrician. She is middle-aged, divorced and starting a new life with Sam, the man she is living with and plans to marry. She is also the mother of Megan, who is thirteen and former step-mom to Abby and Victoria.
From the Amazon product page:
Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her---though it is stressful---and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.
But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.
Come Home reads with the breakneck pacing of a thriller while also exploring the definition of motherhood, asking the questions: Do you ever stop being a mother? Can you ever have an ex-child? What are the limits to love of family? 
 On the plus side:
The story has some unexpected twists and turns. Jill attempts to help step-daughter Abby find out what happened to her ex-husband/Abby's father, who Abby is convinced, was murdered, in spite of everyone else's thoughts to the contrary that he accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs. The more that Jill looks into the events that led up to her ex's recent death, the more she agrees with Abby's beliefs that this actually was a murder.
The pace of this book is ultra-fast with well-defined characters.

  The story of a family, an "ex" family brought together again in crisis and a murder mystery, all combined.

And a couple of things that didn't ring true for me.
Not to spoil the story, but at one point Jill is ready to hand over highly incriminating evidence to someone who could definitely be one of the "bad guys". This was not believable at a point in the story when there are numerous suspects still to consider.
Also, on more than one occasion she is talking on her hand-held cell phone when driving. Again, this didn't ring true for me. Would a doctor do something this stupid after what they see in hospitals as the result of people using phones when driving? I think not.
If you're a fan of Lisa Scottoline's work (and she certainly has plenty of loyal fans) you'll probably want to read this book and decide for yourself.
I enjoyed the story but I think it could have been more engaging and believable, with a few tweaks to the plot.
Overall rating for this book: Good. 3 out of 5.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Luna & Larry's Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss Bars

If you're looking for a cool, delish and portable summer sweet treat, you might want to give Luna & Larry's Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss Bars a try!
Truth be told, I'm kind of addicted to these coconut-based ice cream bars. I love everything about the taste: not too sweet, oh so chocolatety, smooth, velvety texture. Yummm....
A generous 89 ml. bar has only 170 calories. And these are satisfying calories, unlike a lot of other sugar-laden ice cream treats on the market, that just leave a person feeling tired and bloated afterwards.
Here's the ingredient list for this product:
  • Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum)
  • Organic Agave Syrup
  • Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract
  • Organic Fair Trade Cocoa
  • Love that these ingredients are organic and Fair Trade too.
     Yes, the saturated fat level is rather high in these bars(45% of suggested daily requirements). But there is a lot of discussion about the positive aspects of eating fats from coconut-based products, you can read more about that here. Apparently, not all saturated fats are used by the body, in the same way. There are better choices when it comes to saturated fats and coconut milk is considered one of those.
    I've also tried the Naked Coconut Bars in this line and some of Luna & Larry's scoop-able treats, and  they are delish too.
    But if you're a chocolate fan, do give the Dark Chocolate Bliss Bars a try first. You'll be glad you did! ;<)
    Overall rating for this product: Very Good. 4 out of 5.

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Two Summer Book Favs!

    Stop by My Poetic Path to read mini-reviews of my two all-time favorite summer books:
    I re-read these two books every summer. They are both the ultimate, classic "beach read".
    Oldies but goodies and both happily still available at Amazon.
    And do share your own favorite summer book(s)!
    Happy Summer and Happy Reading! ;<)
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...