Friday, July 16, 2010

Review: Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

I bought my stand mixer with a gift card from our wedding. I wasn't sure I needed it, but there was nothing else in the store that I wanted. By the time I bought it, I had been trying to spend that gift car for two years! I wanted to be done carrying around a gift car with that value so I bought the mixer.

It was such an awesome purchase! I'm happy to report that I didn't research the product to death before buying it. I assumed its reputation was worthy and bought it. To this day, I haven't looked at any other mixers. I'm very happy with the one I bought.

It came with three different mixing attachments (all of which I use) and a flour pour shield (to keep it from spraying into your face). Knock on wood, I've not had any problems with it. It's powerful enough to mix heavy bread and cookie doughs. It's never seized up on me.

If you choose to buy one, make sure you pay attention to which model you're getting. They sell some cheaper versions that have smaller motors and only 4.5 quart bowls. This might be fine for the occasional cook, but if you're going to use it a lot, I'd go for the bigger motor and bowl. Obviously, there are more powerful and bigger models to choose from. If you're going to be using it a ton, I'd say save your money for one of those. It used to be (as of 2003 when I sold these at WS), that the Professional series was made completely of metal. This meant that they were significantly less likely to seize up and they would probably still be working when you died.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review: Trader Joe's Fruit Leathers

I wish I had a link for you, but TJ's doesn't sell anything online! They have four flavors of fruit leathers: apricot, strawberry, raspberry, and boysenberry. They are all very tasty.

I like them because they're just the right thickness. They have a nice tart flavor that's refreshing. They are completely fruit without fillers. They are fun to eat (we make circles in them and eyeglasses).

Pick some up - you'll like them!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: Bliss Ice Cream (Boulder, CO)

When we recently traveled to CO, our first stop after the airport was at Whole Foods. There was a very nice lady giving out samples of a new organic ice cream. Turns out she was the owner! Since I love me my small businesses, I was happy to meet her.

The samples were delicious! The flavors were intense and the texture was creamy and smooth! When I read the ingredient list, I was impressed - pure ingredients. All the stuff you'd find listed in you grandma's cookbooks. I highly recommend picking up a pint the next time you run across Bliss ice cream. It's well worth the calories and the cost (I promise!): how could you go wrong with great flavor, great texture, and great ingredients!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review: Yogi Cherry Almond Crunch

I love this cereal! I'm a big believer in layering cereals together. Every morning, I eat Grapenuts, Barbara's Shredded Wheats, and Yogi's Cherry Almond Crunch. Then I add on some flax seed and frozen blueberries before pouring on some milk. Obviously, each ingredient is a small amount so that together my bowl of cereal isn't gigantic!

This cereal has a good mix of wholesome ingredients: OatsBarleySpeltAmaranthQuinoaEvaporated Cane, JuiceBrown Rice FlourBrown RiceWhole Wheat FlourVegetable OilAlmondsSaltNatural Flavors. Since the other cereals I'm eating with it aren't sweet at all, this cereal adds a perfect amount of sweetness.

It is pricey. I wait for Whole Foods to put it on sale every few months and pick up several boxes at a time. I believe it's normally over $4 a box. On sale, I get it for $3 a box. To me, it's worth the price since it adds more grains in my morning cereal, gives me an added sweetness, and is the right texture compliment to my other cereals! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Review: Annie's Cheddar Bunnies

We switched from Goldfish to Cheddar bunnies when our daughter was diagnosed with food allergies.

I had first tried them at a friend's house, and I admit, I wasn't sure about them then. I think they weren't as salty maybe? Don't know for sure.

Anyway, we're big believers in bunnies now! They are a great snack in the afternoon. We like to mix them with Trader Joe's Frosted Miniature Wheats.

The regular cheddar bunnies don't leave your fingers messy. I honestly don't know about fat and calories. I don't really look at that stuff anymore since I'm more focused on moderation and "real" ingredients.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Athletic Socks

You know the bags of socks you can find at the store. I'd been buying those for years. For whatever reason, I assumed that they were just as good as any other sock. Being the penny pincher that I am, I didn't even want to try a different type of sock since they were soooooo expensive.

Then came the best shoe sale of my life! Our DSW had an extra 50% clearance sale at Thanksgiving time. It. was. amazing. AMAZING!!! And they had some socks on sale. I picked up a packet for me and one for my husband. We won't be going back.

My husband just needed some new socks before a trip. I'd been throwing out old ones as they came out of the drier with holes. Suddenly, on packing day, I discovered I'd thrown all of them away! Ooops. Where we live, we have limited shopping that's super close. I ran to Target. They had the bags of socks, but I walked right on by to the premium socks they sold.

My husband likes them. They're a go! Don't buy any more bags of socks. I promise you your feet will be happy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Review: Hulu

I love Hulu! We've been watchers for a while now. We still don't have cable so we supplement by watching Netflix and Hulu. Our computer connects to the tv so that we can watch the internet on our tv from our computer.

Hulu is the best application for that since they have the "pop out" feature. Basically, it allows you to choose how big you want the picture so that you don't have to watch it small or full screen. Full screen keeps you from watching and doing on your computer. "Pop out" lets you do both!

I just recently saw an add for Hulu Plus. Have you tried it? Heard anything good about it? I have to admit that I'm tempted to try it. My monthly subscription to it and Netflix would still be considerably less than cable/dish.