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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: Lay's Greektown Gyro vs. West Coast Truffle Fries




Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson


Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest is going on across the country. Four contenders are competing for the $1 million dollar prize: Greektwon Gyro, West Coast Truffle Fries, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and New York Reuben. I tried the first two flavors and my reviews are below. In addition, I declared a winner out of the two, but you have to scroll down to see who won. I purchased my potato chips from Kroger, 2/$5.00. Disclaimer: I am not related to the contestants mentioned on the chip bags nor do I know them personally. 

Greektown Gyro 
 

Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson

Greektwon Gyro smells like a gyro sandwich with tzatziki sauce. The flavor resembles the real thing - I should know since I currently have an addiction to gyros from Mr. Gyros and Burgers. I found the taste to be overbearing which would probably turn off some folks. Though I enjoyed eating more than one, I would not eat Greektown Gyro again. I rather indulge in an authentic Greek sandwich. 

Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson


West Coast Truffle Fries

Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson

I loved the fresh oil aroma from the West Coast Truffle Fries when I opened the bag. The wavy ridges surprised me because heck, who has time to read the big red lettering before the chip name. I usually go for a traditional texture, but I still gave it a whirl. The hint of truffle seemed more in line with the other Lay's flavors. However, I didn't get the fry concept, calling them truffle chips would have been sufficient. I plan to eat West Coast Truffle Fries again, and again. 


2015 Copyright 2015, Rekaya Gibson

 The Food Temptress selects West Coast Truffle Fries as the winner. Cast your vote here for your favorite!

What's your all-time favorite Lay's potato chip? Leave your comment below. 



Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, July 27, 2015

Quick Greek Salad #MeatlessMonday




Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit 

 It's Meatless Monday again and I made a Quick Greek Salad. I didn't have cucumbers, but it still tasted authentic. I topped it with Girard's Greek Feta Vinaigrette Dressing after I tossed the ingredients together. I highly recommend this recipe as a quick and easy lunch. Enjoy!

What's your favorite Greek dish? Leave comment below. 

Quick Greek Salad

Ingredients
Romaine lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Sliced black olives
Feta cheese
Red onion (sliced)
Artichoke hearts (quartered & marinaded)

Instructions
1. Add all the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss. 



Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract




Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit

Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit

Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit


I have finally completed my Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract; it's been almost seven months. I didn't plan for it to take this long - life happened. Most people make the extract in about three months. Well, it was worth the wait. The vanilla smells delightful and it tastes like the real thing. I wouldn't recommend drinking, trust me. I look forward to cooking with my own product and sharing samples with family and friends. You can too by following the recipe below and getting some of the items that I mention in this post. I hope to make another batch for the holidays. Perhaps, I'll try a different bean next time. If so, I'll let you know. Enjoy!

My sister came up with the name, "Nicki's Nilla." She joked about it and I used it. I purchased my Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans from Beanilla; it has a variety of beans in its online store. J. Anderson Designs did a lovely job on the label and I had it printed at Avery. I found two-ounce bottles which included the tops at Specialty Bottle. I also bought the plastic seal closures from this company. Thanks for visiting! 

Leave comments about this recipe below. Thanks.

Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredient
750 ml vodka
25 Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans

Instructions
1. Pour vodka into a large bottle that has a tight lid.
2. Split each vanilla bean down the middle and scrap out the pulp. Add the pulp to the vodka.
3. Add the bean stalks to the vodka.
4. Seal bottle tightly. 
5. Store in a dark place for 3-4 months (shake periodically after each month).
Optional:
6. Using a funnel, pour vanilla extract into smaller bottles.  


Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, July 20, 2015

Crunchy & Spicy Chickpeas #MeatlessMonday







Happy Meatless Monday! I made easy Crunchy & Spicy Chickpeas. They looked like Corn Nuts after I pulled them out of the oven. The seasonings provided a hint of spice to give the beans some flavor. I ate them as a snack. I also used them as a condiment by putting them over my salad. The beans gave it a crunch and added protein to my meal. This meatless Monday recipe is a winner. I hope you enjoy it.

What's your favorite bean? Leave your comment below. Thank you.


Crunchy & Spicy Chickpeas

Ingredients
1 (15 oz. can) organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Jamaican curry powder
Garlic powder
Cumin
Cayenne pepper

Instructions
1. Heat oven 375 degrees.
2. Pour chickpeas in a medium bowl and add oil. Stir with spoon. 
3. Sprinkle with seasonings and toss.
4. Spread peas on a nonstick cookie sheet, no overlapping.
5. Bake about 50 minutes or until crunchy. 

Servings: 3.5



Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stouffer's Fit Kitchen Frozen Dinners #ProductReview




Photo Credit: Stouffer's

Stouffer's launched six new frozen dinners, Fit Kitchen

  • Steak Fajita
  • Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • Rotisserie Seasoned Turkey
  • Oven Roasted Chicken
  • Bourbon Steak
  • Monterey Chicken

Each one has at least 25 grams of protein, vegetables, and "good" carbs, giving you a balanced meal. Fit Kitchen dinners go into the microwave for a few minutes, making it quick and easy to fit your healthy lifestyle. 

I tried the Bourbon Steak and the Monterey Chicken that I purchased from Kroger. I also saw them in my neighborhood Target store. The Bourbon Steak comes with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes, seasoned broccoli, and red peppers in a two-compartment plastic heating tray - a colorful presentation. As it cooked, the bourbon fragrance lingered in the air like a steakhouse. The smothered gravy added a nice tough to the tender meat; I was pleasantly surprised. The chipotle mashed sweet potatoes excited my palate with its spices, adding an extra kick that I usually don't find in a frozen dinner. I wished the vegetables had its own section in the serving tray; however, I was not put-off by it being mixed with the spuds. It's actually a great way to eat the broccoli and red peppers - very flavorful. 


Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit 

Overall, I enjoyed eating this hearty dinner. I am concerned about the amount of sodium and sugar (See nutritional value below.) that it contains. Still, I would eat the meal again because of the taste and protein that it provides. I highly recommend Stouffer's Fit Kitchen Bourbon Steak.


Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit


Bourbon Steak Nutritional Value
Serving Size: 372g | Serving Per Container: 1
Calories 410
Fat 13g
Cholesterol 20mg
Sodium 890mg
Total Carbs 48g
  Dietary Fiber 4g
  Sugars 29g
Protein 27g


Photo Credit: Stouffer's

Next up, I consumed Monterey Chicken which included white meat chicken with diced red skin and sweet potatoes, green beans, and a BBQ-style sauce, topped with Monterey cheese. It, too, came in a two-compartment heating tray: a messy meat-potato section and a veggie. I loved smelling barbecue during lunchtime; it reminded me of the weekend relaxing in the backyard with the family. I found the red and sweet potatoes interesting; I wouldn't have thought to put them together. The sauce and gooey cheese combined with chicken made me dance until I met the green beans. The vegetable was lifeless and bland. I still ate it for good measure. 

Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit

Overall, Monterey Chicken held its own even though visually it didn't look appetizing and the green beans weren't the best. Again, I am concerned about the amount of sodium and sugar (See nutritional value below.) that it contains. Still, I would eat the meal again because of the taste and protein that it provides. I recommend Stouffer's Fit Kitchen Monterey Chicken. I look forward to sampling the other four entrees.


Copyright 2015 Rekaya Gibson, Photo Credit

Monterey Chicken Nutritional Value
Serving Size: 396g | Serving Per Container: 1
Calories 400
Fat 12g
Cholesterol 70mg
Sodium 960mg
Total Carbs 46g
  Dietary Fiber 5g
  Sugars 18g
Protein 26g



Disclosure of Material Connection: I  received product samples from Stouffer's; however, I was not paid for my opinion. All my opinions are mine and mine alone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”